Remarkably, European solidarity, once the progressive cause par excellence, is increasingly viewed as hateful racism, as suggested by the conventional wisdom’s berserk reaction to President Trump’s speech last week in Warsaw in praise of the people of Poland and of the Western civilization of which they are a part.
Once again, Trump’s historical role appears to be to act as a catalyst accelerating existing trends, inciting his enemies to declare what’s really been on their minds all along. Thus, even cohesion in Western Europe, which is favored by Trump’s Polish hosts, is now viewed as a racist plot against People of Color, denying them their rightful right to migrate en masse to Europe.
Recently, it has become commonplace for sophisticated observers to argue that the old political polarities of left and right are no longer relevant. For instance, Thomas Edsall writes in The New York Times:
Ewald Engelen, a social scientist at the University of Amsterdam, argues that the old paradigm of a left arguing for strong government intervention and a right preferring market solutions to social problems has been replaced. “Today,” he told Al Jazeera, “we see that the dominant dichotomy has become globalism versus nationalism.”
“The logic of concentricism is so obvious that it’s almost never articulated anymore.”